A day in Corbett

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            As one goes further into the forests around Dhikala you come across the wild boars. They mostly stay in groups and  with the mother many small cute little boars are seen.  They are fond of eating the roots and at places one can see dug up potholes. They may be a meal for the tigers but give a tough fight to the leopard and many times drive them away from their children.

Wild boars are also spotted in the Dhikala complex as they come for eating the restaurant waste. Precaution is advised as they have injured many employees of forest department.

 

            The Jackals are mostly spotted in pairs and prefer to live near human habitations. Hence they are mostly spotted near Dhikala or Khinanauli. It was an interesting experience  once we were on the elephant back and looking for tiger pugmarks in the chaur, when a group of  Jackals started attacking a group of deers, they chose the youngest one which looked weak and started chasing it, when the first batch of say one or two chasers got tired then the other pair started chasing, their motive was clear to make the kill once the deer ultimately gets tired.  And finally they were able to get hold of the tired deer and every member had a feast.

The Jackals call is very interesting and typical of the jungle atmosphere. In the evening or early morning to gather every member of the family one hears of such calls.

 

            The  rare fish eating, long snouted ( as we say in Hindi surai or Ghara ) gharial can be seen basking along the sand bank sand banks and pools of the Ramganga river. This particular breed was artificially introduced in Corbett and they successfully adapted themselves. The male member has a rock like formation on its nose or snout tip whereas the female has a plain snout. There are two specific areas in Corbett where they are sure to be found the High bank which is 9 km before Dhikala and the crocodile pool which is on the way to the Gairal rest house. Its cousin the mighty maggar crocodile is found in the reservoir or Ramsingh road. 

 

            How can one ever forget the presence of the Langur monkey which is also known as the "Savior or protector of the forest". Forest fires are very common and every second year there are major fires and the grass that the herbivores like deers eat is destroyed. The langur and other rhesus monkeys at this moment take to the trees and pluck the tree tops and through the leaves and shoots to the ground where the deers eat and their hunger is satisfied, this prevents the herbivores to stay in the jungles and not to wander in the buffer areas where there is human population, thus the tigers also stay in the jungles and also do not wander to the buffer area where they are likely to be disturbed and may resort to cattle hunting.

The monkeys also warn the other animals in case any carnivore is lurking nearby. The langurs are very afraid and  seeing a tiger they often fall down from the trees to become a meal for the tiger or leopard. 

 

            There are  many other crawling creatures like the monitor lizard and the python which are often seen. It is a magnificent site to see a python that has swallowed a deer, for days the python keeps lying down trying to digest its lavish meal. This is also the time when the snakes are very  prone to danger. During their struggle to capture the deer in case they get injured or there is any cut on their body, the ants will come and it will be a slow and painful death for this beautiful creature. Apart from the python there is also the cobra which has bothered the forest staff that are based inside the parks. 

A very rare yellow throated martin is also seen in the Corbett. This animal has tremendous adaptability and is found in the hills from an altitude ranging from 300 ft to 8000 ft above the sea level. Martins mostly stay in pairs and it is hard to believe but I have personally seen them stalking and killing young deer's. One of the martins distracts the mother whereas the other injures the youngster and then they stalk it till it dies of blood loss or exhaustion.  

In a days trip around Corbett there are many many other things to look out for such as the rivers flowing, the birds singing , the calls of the carnivores and the growl of predators. If one keeps their eyes and ears open a day without seeing the tiger is also memorable.

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